We pray that you will find something about Saints in the Catholic Church we’ve written that will make you want to go to your priest, and thank him for being a priest.
Luz Elena tells us that in Mexico, they used to kiss the priest’s hands, out of respect for their being consecrated. You may not feel comfortable doing it. But do go up and tell them how much you appreciated their homily; mention something they said, which touched you. Let them know you weren’t sleeping during the Mass. Thank them for their “fiat.”
We believe there’s much to be learned, from reading about Saints in the Catholic Church who have preceded us. These are men and women who said “yes” to Jesus, knowing in advance that their lives would never be the same. They fell in love with Jesus, and through Him, their brothers and sisters. You and I are that family of Christ, these saints fought for. The battle for the Church over the centuries, has always been for the people of God. All the wars that have ever been waged, including those of the Twentieth century, have been for the people of God. There were those who wanted to protect and save the people of God; then there have been those who have wanted to destroy the people of God, hoping thereby, to destroy God Himself. We know that will never happen!
Woman has always played a major part in God’s plan. When God made woman of man’s rib, He formed unity. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united with his wife, and they become one.” (Gen 2:24-25)
It is interesting to note that Adam, from whom Eve was taken, was placed by God into a deep sleep. Was it that Eve was to be brought forth by God Himself, of man but not by man? Could it be that God did not want Eve to be a cause of pain for Adam but a loving partner and companion?
When Eve disobeyed God’s mandate not to eat the forbidden fruit, her action was to cause a reaction that not only would affect her happiness and life but that of her Adam and all generations to come. It reverberated down through the centuries, not to be overturned until, thousands of years later, another woman, a second Eve, was to make her Fiat with the words “I am the handmaiden of the Lord. Let it be done unto me according to your will.” (Luke 1:38)
Eve’s act of disobedience was to give birth to other acts against our loving God by the family of man that would follow. But God is a God of mercy, love and forgiveness, a forever God of Faithfulness to a very often unfaithful people. When I think of how lovingly God fashioned Adam and Eve, the joy He felt as He looked about at the life they would have, I cannot help grieve with Him as He, the Loving Parent saw them throw it all away. But our Compassionate God could not close the door on His Children.
To know of God’s Love for woman down through the centuries, one only has to begin with the women of the Old Testament. If we listen to God’s Word carefully, we see Mother Mary, the New Eve in God’s promise to the serpent, of the woman whose “offspring will crush your head.” (Gen 3:15) As one woman’s “yes” was to lead to betrayal, God accepted another woman’s “yes” to redeem that betrayal.
The echoes of the women before us resound even to the most sacred times in our lives. During the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, one reading recalls Ruth’s faithful response to her mother-in-law Naomi’s plea for Ruth to leave her, “Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
Under pain of death, mid-wives disobeyed Pharaoh’s order to kill all male children born to Israelite women. Because of one woman’s courage, his mother, Moses was born and sent down the river in a basket. Another woman, Pharaoh’s daughter, showed her strength by taking the Jewish baby Moses into her home and raising him. Because of their yes’es, the Jews were freed from the clutches of Pharaoh, and brought to the Promised Land. (Exodus 2:1-10)
In the tradition of our Jewish ancestors, for centuries women have begun the Sabbath on Friday night with the lighting of candles and recitation of prayers. The Faith of the Jews is passed on by the woman; for the children to be Jewish, the mother, not the father, must be Jewish.
Children have been taught by the mother from time immemorial. In our own modern society, the tradition is carried on. We gave a talk to a group of women in Louisiana. We said to them, “Are you aware that 85% of what is taught in your home to your children and your husband, is done by the wife? The bulk of informational material that comes into the house comes from the wife and mother.”
We believe it’s been part of God’s plan from before the creation of man, that woman could bring us to the depths of despair, or to the heights of ecstasy. They have been given this power by God to be instruments of the greatest good, as with Mother Mary or, as in the case of Eve, the worst evil.
The focus of this article is on those Saints in the Catholic Church who have glorified God, who have given their sisters role models to follow, reason to hold their heads high. These are men and women who have contributed to a heritage of which we can all be truly proud.